Vieira eyes City return within three years

Patrick Vieira is hopeful his experience in Major League Soccer will stand him in good stead as he targets a long and successful career in football management.

The 40-year-old former Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milan and Manchester City midfielder, who retired in 2011, was named as City's Football Development Executive after accepting a training and youth development role in July of that year.

He subsequently became the club's reserve team and Elite Development squad manager in May 2013 before being announced as head coach of City's sister club New York City FC on November 9, 2015, prior to taking up the role on 1 January, 2016.

In his first season at the club he led New York City to a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference, ahead of losing 7-0 on aggregate to Toronto in the play-off semi-finals.

Vieira is expected to return to City with the required experience to take over first-team duties, with the club's Administration Officer Brian Marwood revealing as much on Wednesday – with current boss Pep Guardiola only expecting to remain with the club for three years.

He told Sky Sports News: "It was important that we could find the next development stage for Patrick and it was still part of the group. That opportunity came about in New York.

"We are really excited, he is really excited by it and I think it is exactly the next step he needs. 

"Hopefully, at some point, he'll come back and manage Manchester City, That's the ambition for him and that's the ambition for us. But he has to go through this learning curve."

And speaking to RMC, Vieira added: "We don't know what will happen, but I'm learning the trade.

"There are people [at Manchester City] who believe in me a great deal and have given me a desire to work hard and make sure I don't disappoint them.

"We'll see what the future brings, [but] it's encouraging. The idea is to say in the MLS and see what happens in the future."